Sunday, January 27, 2013

What I Wore Sunday: The One Where I Use Self-Timer

by Shannon

If you hang around until the end of the post, you can oogle my accessories collection.

This is why I used self-timer this Sunday.

I think Ryan has tired of taking pictures of me. And, yes, that's the smoke detector on the counter. It goes off when dinner is ready. 

Here are the results from the self-timer session.

It was a difficult decision, but I think this was the best one. Not completely out of focus, and you can see the fun, poofy sleeves.

Earrings: Victoria Townsend, Macys
Necklace: heirloom
Jacket: LOFT, consignment shop in trendy neighborhood
Dress: Taylor, TJ Maxx
Belt: Simply Vera, Kohls
Watch: Fossil
Tight: Target
Boots: Sears

I have only been dying to wear this party dress to Mass for more than a year, but it's very ... friendly up top. I've only worn it one other time, to a friend's wedding, for which I borrowed a cardigan last minute. I've been searching for a cropped jacket ever since, and I finally found one this weekend at my favorite consignment shop, running me $12. Yay! I would have liked it to be a bit more cropped, so I don't look so much like a bell from neckline to hemline, but I'm pretty happy with it. In the closeup of my locket, you can see the jacket has a fine dot pattern, which is really fun with the patterned skirt. 

This is my favorite heirloom from my paternal grandmother. She gave it to me when I was 14, and I immediately put a picture of my sister and me in it.

Maybe it's because I've known us, well, our whole lives, but I think it's really funny that we don't look like each other in that old picture, but we look so similarly now. 

Here are the earrings. I'd been on the lookout for two-tone love knots for a while, and these fit the bill. I've had them for a couple years.

No closeup on the boots, as I've done it before

Here's our lunch guest's Pinterest hair, which she sported at Mass. She's just got over a bug, so I didn't insist on a picture of her fashion. Check out her scarf, though. Pretty, pretty.

Ever since my post about discovering my personal style, I've wanted to show y'all how I organize my accessories. Accessories are my favorite part of fashion. I started really collecting them three or four years ago. Between gifts, consignment stores and Target clearance, I've amassed so much that I rarely feel drawn to buy anything unless it's super unusual (read: usually vintage). I knew I needed a new (and cheap) way to organize my sparkly things when I could no longer close the jewelry box my father made. 

I decided to use what I had, so I piled up a bunch of pretty things to hold my pretty things.

Left: Peacock plate from friend's Japanese grandmother, teacups from my bridal shower, wooden box regifted to me from my cousin (an ex gave it to her as a wedding gift — heh.), oooold butter container that was one of my mother's first vintage buys (funnily enough purchased to hold jewelry), and a lie — I did not only use what I had around the house. I later bought the egg crate from World Market when I decided I needed more space for stud earrings. Top: Smallish necklaces, now kept in my father's jewelry box. Bottom: I found a couple more St. Francis of Assisi items in our house this weekend — where did all this stuff come from?!
I keep bracelets, brooches and scarf clips with these teacups. 
For my long necklaces, I took an old shelf and screwed in hooks, which came in one of those small divided boxes full of hardware. The heart hanger isn't my style, but it was laying around. Not sure why or from where. I hung the art because it was on the floor in a corner, the music box is from my childhood (plays "My Favorite Things"), and the Cantillon bottle holds silk flowers from our wedding.
Top: The first vintage necklace I ever bought, purchased at the antique mall near our college where Ryan and I discovered our shared love of old things. Can't believe it's been 10 years. Bottom: More pretty stuff. Right: Ryan and Crucher's Christmas gift to me. 
Earrings live here. Danglies are hung on the teacup or put on the plate, and studs are in the egg crate. I put earrings that are broken or missing partners inside the teacup.
Top left: The wooden box holds the extra notions that come with new clothes. Top right: I hang my headbands on the top of the dresser mirror. Bottom: One of my drawers is full of scarves and hankies. 
Eh, while I'm at it, here is the rest of the closet. It's actually a fourth bedroom that we hung Closetmaid hardware in. Our bedroom is closetless. Ryan's stuff is to the right, and his dresser is to my left. My dresser and jewelry are behind me. We also keep linens in here, folded to the left of that hanging sweater divider. What you see here is everything I have for winter, spring, summer and fall, save what's in the laundry and a few coats/jackets in the hall closet.

So, that's how I organize my pretty bobbles and bits. How do you keep your jewelry organized? Do you keep it on display or put it away? Did you need to buy special organizers, or did you get creative? Do you have a spot for extra buttons and thread, or am I just OCD?

Don't forget to go to Fine Linen and Purple for much shorter blog posts.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

What I Wore Sunday

by Shannon

Let's start with the prettiest girl in the house. We have visitors this weekend, and this here's Little Miss. What a sweetheart.

Little Miss:

Hair Bow: Handmade 
Shirt: From her Christmas jumper, thrifted Ralph Lauren
Dress: Second-hand
Tights: Walmart
Shoes: Gone

Now, on to me, attempting to pull off the Grace/Mona Lisa half smile: 

Actually, here's me really trying the half smile, and I just look annoyed. 

That is the skirt that goes with this jacket, and never the twain shall meet. 

Deets: Earrings: Target
Sweater: Eddie Bauer
Camisole: Heck if I know.
Brooch: Vintage
Watch: Fossil
Belt: Simply Vera, Kohls
Skirt: Meijer
Tights: Not sure.
Socks: No clue.
Shoes: Sears

I love how the little bird curls under, almost like a semi-hoop earring. 

This brooch is black lacquer art. I was so thrilled when I saw it, and even more thrilled with the $4 price tag. There's a great custom and estate jewelry store in town that has a FULL WALL of vintage brooches. The owner always lets me buy them in multiples at $4 a piece, since I'm there so much. I purposely schedule my very regular hair appointments on the night the jewelry shop is open late, since my salon is next door to the jewelry shop. 

Rocking the leg-warmer look.

I'm going to end with a picture of Little Miss' sibling, Brother, one of our handsome Godsons. This isn't his Sunday outfit, but his chubby, little face is toooooOOOOOooooo CUTE. 

I'm back to our guests, and you go back to Fine Linen and Purple for more of Sunday's finest! 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

What I Wore Sunday

by Shannon

"He must increase, but I must decrease."
– John 3:30

Happy Baptism of the Lord! So ... if the tree is still up after today, I'm officially lazy, right? Today's fashion photography will take place in a room without a tree, so I may continue to ignore the room with a tree.

As is often the case with my devotions, today's reading from Divine Intimacy (a lovely gift from my lovely mother) had something I needed to hear:

"Every sin, fault or voluntary negligence dishonors Christ, our Head, and grieves the Holy Spirit who dwells in us (p. 141). ... Your love alone, O Lord, can conquer the great inconstancy of my mind and heart, and establish them in You, so that my life may become interior, rather than exterior, centered on You and Your grace instead of on myself and things of earth (p. 143)."
I have felt very unaccomplished lately. Too much of my time is spent on things of this world, and getting back into Ordinary Time will, I pray, help me recenter myself on Christ and my family. 

Onto something lighter. It was unseasonably warm this weekend, so I went with a nude leg and short sleeves.

Unlike the oft-butchered quote from Ms. Coco Chanel, I tend to add an accessory before I run out the door. 

I like to pretend those earrings are feathers, but they're probably leaves.

So, what do you think, ladies — belt or no belt? As I commented on one of the other WIWS posts last week: When it doubt, belt it. In this case, a belt makes the getup more complete (not to mention has a corset-effect). Let's pretend, for a moment, that I've not over accessorized.

Earrings: Target
Butterfly Necklace: This week's touch of Granny Chic, originally owned by Ryan's grandmother.
Beaded necklace: Forever 21 (Great for accessories. Not so much for textiles. I bought my infamous shrinking dress there, which is now a tunic. This dress was a replacement for it, as it very similar in coloring and silhouette.)
Dress: Vintage, consignment shop in town
Belt: Target
Red T-shirt: Merona, Target
Watch: Fossil
Shoes: Vintage Crown, DSW

I'll end with an actual quote from Coco. 
"Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening."
Look for fashion everywhere this week. And visit the other ladies at Fine Linen and Purple! As for me, I'm off to tackle a tree.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

What I Wore Sunday

by Shannon

Shameful plug: I actually blogged for real this week! I finally got the gumption (word of the day) to do a non-link-up post, and I think it went pretty well. Also, we updated the blog layout to one of those fancy-schmancy Dynamic View Templates. I need to throw in some customizing, but it already looks better. Lastly, stay tuned later in the week: Ryan is reading a book on fatherhood and has been inspired to blog on virtues. He's a much stronger writer than I am, so swing back in!

"Where is he that is born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to adore him."
– Matthew 2:2

"Work it, Boo!" "For serious?"

You can see the Magi made it to the Nativity there over my shoulder. Happy Epiphany to you! Snippet from Father's homily this morning: Recognize gifts from God, and never cease being grateful. Inspired by the Magi, place all that you have at the Savior's feet, giving him thanks.

Have you ever owned a piece of clothing that is so perfectly you that you never seem to wear it? Every time you see it in your closet, you think, "Oh, I'll save that for better day." That would be my chambray shirtdress. I have wanted a chambray shirtdress since I started picking out my own clothes (Hellooooo,  11-year-old Shannon in a floral crepe skirt with work boots!), and I finally bought one this fall. I think I've worn it five times in as many months. This is the first I've worn it since winter hit, and I'm going to wear it to work tomorrow. (I tend to wear Sunday's Mass outfit to work on Monday. Does anyone else do that?) I really should wear it more often. It's a perfect fit, modest and comfortable, yet lovely and sweet. Plus, it has pockets! I have three trends I've consistenly ridden for the last 15 years: menswear, granny chic and boho. Today's look features both menswear and granny chic:

Headband: Afterthoughts?
Earrings: From my MIL. They were Ryan's grandmother's. When Ryan says, "My grandma woulda worn that," I take it as a compliment.
Necklace: Consignment shop in town
Fantastic chambray shirtdress: Old Navy
Cardi: Eddie Bauer
Belt: Same consignment shop
Tights: Target
Boots: Same beat pair I always wear. Time to start scouting the boot sales!

Did you see our new friend up there? Here he is without all of his Christmas garb on:

Meet Hubert!  Check out John Zmirak's telling of St. Hubert in the Jägermeister chapter from The Bad Catholic's Guide to Wine, Wiskey & Song, pp. 114-116. John. Is. Hil. Arious. Hubert here came into our lives via my father, a hunter. Isn't he a beaut? My mother wasn't having it, so Ryan and I yelled out, "Ooo-oo-ooo! Us, us, us!" And he will be decorated for each season (liturgical and nature). I'm dying to put flowers on his antlers.

I'll end with the one in which I have awesome ribbon antler pigtails:

Check out the other fashionable females (and sometimes males) at Fine Linen and Purple, Watch Out for the Woestmans and Lily Among Thorns!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Come See Me at the Zoo!

by Shannon

"...Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, just as it had been told to them."
– Luke 2:19-20

Happy Feast Day of Mary, the Mother of God!

We visited another beautiful parish in our archdiocese for Mass today, but we also checked in at our parish so I could shoot some pictures before the Christmas decorations come down in a few days. We're very blessed to worship in such a timelessly beautiful church.

Á la Catholic Icing, Jennifer Fulwiler and Brandon Vogt, our family is choosing a patron saint for 2013. I've been trying to think up great ways to celebrate the Year of Faith, and this one is a clear winner. Since this is our first year trying out this devotion, and I tend to overwhelm us with new traditions to try with the arrival of each liturgical season, we chose an easy one: St. Francis of Assisi.

I called him "easy" not because his life is simple to emulate (Which saint's is?), but rather because there are abundant opportunities to connect with him, which will make our devotion more difficult to forget.

We conveniently already own a St. Francis statue, a St. Francis icon, two framed copies of The Prayer of St. Francis, the first two volumes of The Adventures of Loupio for Cruncher (a fictional story about a little boy who is friends with St. Francis, illustrated in graphic-novel style). We (opportunly) bought Cruncher a family zoo membership for Christmas, which ties in so nicely with St. Francis' connections to animals and the environment. There are loads of literature, movies and music inspired by St. Francis of Assisi, not to mention St. Clare of Assisi and other saints who were Franciscans or Poor Clares. It is additionally helpful that his feast day of Oct. 4 happens to fall on a Friday this year. We'll probably plan a big Italian meal, as he is a patron of Italy. I would love, love, LOVE to do some sort of pilgrimage relating to him, but Italy and San Francisco are out of the question. Please let me know if you have any ideas.

We also chose him because, despite his popularity, we've surprisingly never included him in our family litany of saints. I really wanted to choose someone we could add to our arsenal, so to speak. I'm really excited about all of the prayer, teaching and learning opportunities a devotion with St. Francis will provide us this year. I'll try to keep everyone updated on how it goes.

If you're interested in connecting with a new saint, perpetual nerd Jennifer Fulwiler programmed the Saint's Name Generator. I gave it a spin, and it shot out St. Raymond Nonnatus, whom we already have a statue of in our home, plus we ask for St. Raymond's intercession for one of our godsons whose middle name is "Ray." A schoolteacher friend clicked "Find a Saint for Me!" and was ironically connected with St. Jerome, patron of schoolchildren! Give it a whirl.

Here's to a blessed 2013 for you and all your loved ones!

Edit: I discovered another St. Francis find in our house! The Little Flowers of St. Francis by Raphael Brown. We are EXTREMELY lucky to have a local used and new bookstore owned by two parishoners. Their Catholic section is Ah. May. Zing. Guess I know what I'm reading next...